'Fredric Jameson has written of the 'structures of feeling' immanent to the postmodern condition: the breakdown of temporality and the associated experience of euphoric, intoxicating intensity, what he calls 'postmodern schizo-fragmentation'. For Jameson, this contrasts with the 'anxieties and hysterias' of modernism.
'Taking up Jameson's concern with what, for want of a better term, we might call the 'dominant moods' of modernism and postmodernism, this article seeks to nuance and expand our understanding of modernism as it was lived and experienced. Specifically, I turn to Robert Genter's identification of 'Romantic Modernism', characterised, in contrast to high modernism's preoccupation with formal innovation, in terms of a search for redemption through sublime, primitive innocence, and instinctuality.
'I use this rubric to think about the work of a handful of innovative theatre-makers working in Sydney in the late 1960s: a brief, romantic modernist moment blooming in the years immediately prior to, and to a large extent overwhelmed by, the Australian New Wave theatre of the early 1970s. Those artists are Nico Lathouris, one of the driving forces behind the Performance Syndicate and the attempts to create a collective practice based upon Grotowski's writings, and the experimental group called the Human Body, members of which included Clem Gorman, Judy (later Juno) Gemes and Johnny Allen.' (Publication abstract)